sun tanning damage
Exposure to sun light is essential to all life on earth, affecting over 100 biological functions of the body. There are various reasons, physiological and psychological, why exposure to
sun light (tanning) is desirable. There is a growing body of scientific evidence indicating that some people actually require more light exposure in order to function effectively. There are numerous scientific studies that show how beneficial exposure to ultraviolet light (tanning) really is, such as the production of Vitamin D3 in the prevention of bone diseases
(such as osteoporosis) and in the improvement of symptoms of psoriasis.
Besides the positive benefits of tanning, it leaves you feeling good and looking great!
Skin Types ....Things to think about
before attempting a regular tanning regimen.
Your skin is a living organ that constantly regenerates itself. The
outer layer, called the epidermis, is as thin as a pencil line.
consists of a protective layer of skin cells that continually shed
give way to new cells. Below the epidermis are the dermis and
hypodermis, two layers that produce the oil, collagen, and elastin that
give your skin support, elasticity, and shine. As you mature and grow,
so does your skin. Aging and environmental elements, such as sun tanning , wind,
pollution, and heating systems, all affect your skin type. Below you
will find a general description of the different skin types as well as
some definitions of those types.
These general descriptions may help you to determine your skin type and type of tanning
you should be aware of.
Tanning works differently for different skin types.
The different skin types outlined below are general descriptions
of how sun tanning can affect your skin. These differences can be considerable, are hereditary and cannot be
changed by outside influences. People with very sensitive skin will burn
easily and will tan only with difficulty while the more dark skinned
individuals (skin type 3 & 4) will have little problems with tanning
or sunburn and
will tan easily. The individual's natural ability to produce melanin
(pigmentation) determines their skin type and their ability for tanning
Skin Type I: This type of skin burns easily and severely, then peels - never tans, very fair skin, has
red or blond hair & freckles.
(unexposed skin is white)
It is recommended that this person not expose themselves to sun tanning. (in the sun or
Non - UV tanning products such as spray tans or other self tanning products are recommended.
Skin Type 2: This is the type of skin that usually burns easily and severely, tanning minimally or lightly
and peels, usually fair skinned (unexposed skin is white)
Skin Type 3:
This skin type is referred to as "Average" This person burns moderately and tans gradually to a light brown.
Skin Type 4:
This type of skin burns minimally and tans well to a moderate brown.
Skin Type 5:
This individual rarely burns and tans easily to a dark
color. (their unexposed skin is
Skin Type 6:
This type of skin rarely burns and tans easily. This person
will usually have dark hair, dark eyes, very dark skin.
Vitamin D and Tanning
There is controversy about whether exposure to
ultraviolet radiation (tanning from the sun or tanning bed) is good or bad.
This controversy has appeared in the press as well as in medical
journals. There are some articles that suggest a significant number of
people may actually suffer from vitamin D levels below what is needed
for optimum health. A number of them point out that such individuals may
have low levels of this important vitamin because they avoid sun
exposure or tanning and use sunscreens regularly. Some of the media go so far as to
urge that tanning salons could improve health by exposing users to
ultraviolet radiation and in this way increase vitamin D levels. So what
is the connection between tanning, UV exposure and vitamin D metabolism? There is some
evidence that adequate vitamin D levels are also important for proper
immune function and may be important in the prevention of some cancers
in humans by altering cellular growth and differentiation. Unfortunately
the "Right" Level of vitamin D necessary to maintain optimal
health is presently controversial.
Can my tanning bed lotion be used outdoors?
It is not a good Idea to use these types of tanning lotions outside of a
Indoor tanning lotions usually don't contain SPF.You will have no sun protection outdoors.
Outdoor UV rays can vary daily even hourly in intensity.
(See the very
informative site mentioned below).
It is recommended that you use a SPF lotion while tanning outdoors.Outdoor tanning lotions are not recommended for indoor use,
as they can cause a film on the acrylic on a tanning bed and inhibit the tanning process.
The ozone layer shields the Earth from harmful UV radiation.
Ozone depletion, as well as seasonal and weather variations will cause
different amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth at any given time.
Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, the
predicts the next day's ultraviolet radiation levels on a 1-11+ scale,
helping people determine appropriate sun tanning and other protective
behaviors. The EPA will issue a UV Alert when the level of solar UV
radiation is predicted to be unusually high,
and consequently the risk of overexposure to sun tanning is greater.
The sun's rays include infrared radiation, visible
light, and ultra-violet radiation.
The ultra-violet radiation spectrum can be separated into three types:
UVA: (315-400 nm) wavelengths
UVB: (280-315 nm) wavelengths
UVC: (100-280 nm) wavelengths
Characteristics of UVA Rays:
UVA rays penetrate far deeper into the
skin than UVB rays and will cause a sun tan tolerance.
UVA rays can be potentially carcinogenic.
UVA rays can pass through regular cotton fabrics.
Alters the body's immune system.
Have the longest wave length and can infiltrate glass.
UVA rays may cause cataracts.
UVA rays will trigger drug photosensitivity.
For instance, drugs such as Vibramycin, tetracycline, Minocycline (Minocin),
that are used to treat acne are the most reactive to UVA rays, and may
cause a red skin rash for some people.
Consider your medical history. If you are undergoing treatment
for lupus or diabetes or are susceptible to cold sores, be aware that
these conditions can be aggravated through exposure to ultraviolet
radiation from tanning beds, sunlamps, or natural sunlight. In addition,
your skin may be more sensitive to artificial light or sunlight if you
use certain medications: for example, antihistamines, tranquilizers or
birth control pills. Your tanning salon may keep a file with information
on your medical history, medications, and treatments.
Make sure you keep it updated.
Characteristics of UVB Rays:
UVB rays are mainly responsible for tanning and
May initiate malignant tumors (skin cancer), such as basal squamous cell
carcinomas and melanoma.
Responsible for photo aging.
Produces changes in the body's immune system.
Mainly absorbed at the skin's surface.
Characteristics of UVC Rays:
These rays are very destructive to the skin.
Fortunately UVC only gets through to the earth in minute
quantities as most are absorbed by the earth's ozone layer.
Can I just close my eyes while
tanning in a tanning bed
and not have to use those silly little glasses ?
The Food and Drug Administration requires tanning salons to
direct all customers to wear protective
eye goggles while tanning in a tanning bed.
your eyes, wearing ordinary sunglasses, and using cotton wads do
not protect the cornea
from the intensity of UV radiation that
tanning beds emit.
Long-term exposure to natural sunlight also can result in eye
damage, but in the sun,
people generally are more aware that
their eyelids are burning. Under indoor UV lights or tanning
remains cool to the touch.
In addition, the intensity of lights
used in tanning beds is much greater and potentially more
damaging to the eyes than the intensity of UV rays in natural
Is there a "best
The problem with that question is there is no answer.
What's best for you isn't necessarily best for the next person.
Everyone has their personal preferences as to what they expect a lotion to do and the results they expect
Also the skin type, tanning experience, oily skin, dry skin, the type of tanning bulbs
used, type of tanning bed used etc. etc.
There are simply too many factors involved to determine what is the "BEST"
What about this tingle factor I hear about that indoor
tanning lotions have?
Tingle, Hot, Fire, Heat .... It's all the same principal. Different tanning lotion manufactures just call It different names. A Tingle is a stimulation of the epidermal layers of your skin. Most people feel their skin heat up or Tingle after applying these
lotions. The skin stimulation (irritation) brings blood closer to the surface of the skin. The blood brings melanin with It and you may receive a better tan. The tingle factors range from 1 to 10. The higher the number, the more intense the tingling. It is recommended you start with a tingle of 1 or 2 to become accustomed to the stimulation then gradually work up through the different
I keep tanning but I just can't seem
to get any darker. What can I do?
The skin will actually become thicker as your tanning progresses and makes It difficult for
the tanning UV light to penetrate the
epidermis (upper layers of skin). This is commonly referred to as a tanning "Plateau". Moisturizer is extremely important
to your tanning at this point. Your skin cells are standing up as much as 45° and are actually reflecting the UV rays. Using a lot of moisturizing lotion will help these cells lay down and become more translucent, therefore more receptive to UV rays.
The recommendation is to use a good step 1 lotion (step 1 lotions have a
lot of moisturizer) for 2 or 3 tans to get your skin softened up then start a rotation with a step 2
or 3 lotion.
Rotate your tans, two tans with the step 1 lotion. Then one tan with the step 2
or 3 lotion.
Keep this rotation up and use plenty of moisturizer, you will get over your Plateau.
I get these white spots and they just won't tan,
what's up with that?
Most likely It's a harmless fungus that lives on the your skins surface.
It wasn't noticeable before tanning because they don't absorb UV rays.
The rest of your body tanned but you didn't tan where ever those patches of fungus were.
There are prescription medications available. Better yet,
Body Drench makes a product called "Wipe Out" and Body Invest has a product called "Halt" and
their a lot cheaper.
My face and legs are real hard to get tan. What should I do
Your face is the only part of our body that does not produce it's own moisture.
Our legs become a little dryer because of clothing, hosiery etc. The fact is that moist skin tans much better than dry skin.
Try using a moisturizer at least twice a day while tanning, especially
on the face and legs.
Should I shower before my tanning session?
A shower is not recommended 1 hour before tanning but you should remove any makeup or perfume before your tanning session. Some ingredients in makeup and perfume can make skin more sensitive to UV light and lead to overexposure or sunburn.
Should I shower after a tanning session?
The tanning process will actually continue for a period of time after a tanning session.
Taking a shower will remove the mantel acid from your skin and slow down or stop this continued tanning process.
It is recommended you not shower for 2 hours after your tanning session or 1 hour before.
I just started tanning, how long will it take to see results?
You should have a skin tone change after the first few tanning sessions.
You should have a good base tan in 8-10 tanning sessions then one to three tanning sessions a week should maintain your tan.
What are some precautions
I need to be aware of while tanning?
Don't try to rush your tan. A tan should be obtained gradually.
Gradually increase your
Consult your physician if you are taking any medication.
Some medication can cause extra
the UV light, causing overexposure.
Also consult your physician If you have any type of skin irritation or other condition.
Always wear protective eyewear. Ultraviolet light will penetrate the eyelids.
I can't get tan outdoors, will tanning in a tanning bed help?
Some skin types tan quickly and easily while others just don't have the pigmentation necessary to develop much of a tan....
See the different skin types listed above. If you have "type 1" skin It's recommended that you not tan at all. Type 1 skin always burns easily and severely, tans
very little and peels. This condition is most common with people that have fair skin, blue eyes and freckles.
Approximately 5% of the population is unable to tan at all.
Can I use any ole moisturizer for my dry skin?
Use moisturizers that were specifically designed and developed for indoor tanning,
and use It frequently while tanning. Properly moisturized skin tans much easier.
Why does my tan disappear?
Your tan occurs on the outer layers of your skin, the epidermal layers.
These skin cells gradually die and are replaced with the next layer of
skin (untaned) every 26 to 30 days.
My friend says that a sunburn will fade into a tan.
Many people FALSELY assume that a sunburn will eventually "fade" into
a tan. Sunburn is associated with permanent skin
!! Sunburn is an injury
skin. That's why It hurts so bad! Never! Never! burn yourself intentionally.
If you get sunburns, what
you are really getting is cellular damage from ultraviolet radiation.
The body responds to sunburn damage by increasing the blood flow to the
capillary bed of the dermis in order to bring in new
cells to repair the
damage. The extra blood in the capillaries causes the redness -
press on sunburned skin it will turn white and then return to red as the
The Golden Rule of responsible tanning is: Don't ever sunburn.
What the heck is a Bronzer ?
A bronzer is a dye that changes the color of your skin instantly.
Some people love bronzers and others dislike them.
Products with "Browning" or "Bronzer" in the name usually have real heavy (dark) bronzers.
You have to be careful when applying bronzers as some will streak if not applied evenly.
Dry areas of skin will absorb more of the bronzer and leave the skin a different color.. Elbows, knees, between the fingers, and palms of hands are the most common
Many people that use bronzers will use "wet wipes" to clean these areas immediately after applying bronzers.
Anything published on this web site is designed for
informational purposes only.
Hey, we don't know everything and it's even debatable whether we know
anything at all, but we have done what we can to provide you with some
information that might be helpful and of interest to you. In no way
shape or form are we trying to dispense medical advise,
so if you have a medical concern please contact your medical provider.